How To Get People to Church

In olden times in England, when metical versions of the Psalms were sung instead of hymns, it took congregations quite a while to sing all the way through Psalm 119, the longest of the Psalms and the longest chapter of the Bible (it’s longer than some books of the Bible).

The famous 18th century preacher, William Grimshaw of Haworth, would sometimes announce the singing of Psalm 119, while he left the building and walk through the village looking for truant worshippers.  He had plenty of time to round up the slackers and herd them into church before the Psalm was over; and then he would preach to them.  It was said that absentees were more frightened of Rev. Grimshaw than of the Justice of the Peace. [1. This story about Grimshaw is from Five Christian Leaders of the 18th Century by J. C. Ryle (Guilford & London:  Banner of Truth, 1960), 53.]

I wonder how that would go over now?

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